Originally posted by EcstremeVenom
if god is omnipresent, could one not make a literal interpretation of the bible and say that god is just the universe? it would also explain how he is "eternal" since for all we know, the universe may very well be eternal (or the w/e it was before the big bang; if there was anything).
There are several problems with the premises behind your question.
1. The question of "could one...make a literal interpretation of the bible" is quite different from: *should* one make a literal interpretation. To answer this question directly, yes, of course one *could*. One could do anything. The more interesting question of whether one ought to, however, gains nothing from your leading conditional "if god is omnipresent".
In other words, whether or not one accepts god as omnipresent has nothing to do with whether one should (or could, for that matter) make a literal interpretation of the bible. They're independent issues.
2. Let's excise the bible issue completely and get at the heart of your question: if god is omnipresent, is it reasonable to say that god is the universe?
No...not unless you're using a radically different definition of "god" than what is generally accepted. There's nothing wrong with using your own personal definition--there is something wrong with discussing it unless you make that defn explicit, however. (If you don't, then we risk degenerating into an discussion over pure semantics; what to call things versus what things are.)
If, in whatever defn of god you choose to accept, you also accept that god created the universe and everything in it, then it becomes quite clear to me that "god" can not both have created the universe and be the thing that was created. You might think that physicists make exactly this claim when they put forth the Big Bang theory--after all, is that not an example of the universe creating itself?
Not really--if you get into the details of it, physicists generally use the term "universe" to refer to the realm in which science (specifically physics) applies. Whatever things were before the Big Bang, no one makes the claim that physics applies to what came before. (In fact, a large branch of physics right now is concerned with showing exactly how long after the event that the laws of physics as we know them kicked in.)
What this basically boils down to is--nearly all sensible defns of god are informed by at least one metaphysical element. By definition, "metaphysical" means "not of the universe" (using "universe" in the physics sense). So god is pretty much always accepted as "the universe plus something else" where the something else changes depending on who you're talking to.
Most often, the person you're talking to literally doesn't have any notion at all of what that something else is, which, in my humble opinion, means that to that person "god" is an undefined term.